Analyst Firm Awards and the Circle Award

Each year, we promote two awards series for the analyst industry: the Analyst Firm Awards and the Circle Award. Both awards are based on surveys conducted by the Analyst Observatory at the University of Edinburgh Business School.

  • The Analyst Firm Awards (AFA) recognize the most valuable analyst firms, and to recognize firms that have won a leading role in specific market segments. 18 firms were shortlisted for the first awards in 2014, and the final results led to 340,000 twitter impressions in the first 48 hours.
  • The Circle Awards celebrate the analyst relations teams whose activity and outcomes are both at the highest level.

Analyst Firm Awards

The Analyst Value Survey, which we have run each year since 2000, is the sustainable engine for the award. It reaches out beyond the analyst relations community and allows us to recognize the value delivered to the users of analyst firm services. The awards recognize the leading analyst firms, chosen by the value delivered to users, in market segments which vary from year to year. The methodology for the Analyst Firm Awards, explained in a series of blog posts (1, 2, 3), use the survey data to identify firms that are most used, most valuable, and most relied upon.

Nine AFA categories for 2019

The 2019 Analyst Firm Awards are published in nine categories. The firms highest-ranked in each category are considered to be award winners:

  1. Global: the rest of the world (2018 award here).
  2. Cybersecurity including Governance,  Information Security, Privacy, Security (Award from 2017 here )
  3. AI & Analytics including Business Intelligence and Data Analytics (Award from 2017 here)
  4. Enterprise tech including Automotive, Cloud Computing, Data Center, Emerging Technologies, Healthcare, IT Services, Manufacturing, Outsourcing, Retail Technology, Server, and Sourcing (2018 award here)
  5. Fintech including Asset Management, Capital Markets, Digital Banking, Financial Services, Investment, Payments, and Risk Management (Previously part of the services award here).
  6. Internet of Things (IOT) including M2M (Machine to Machine) and Smart Home. (Here is the 2017 award)
  7. Marketing & Advertising: including Analyst Relations, Business Development, Digital Marketing, and  Marketing (2018 award here).
  8. MediaTech including Digital Media, Gaming, OTT, TV and Video (new category)
  9. Telecoms & Networking: covering  Wireless; Telecoms Services; Telecoms Equipment; Telecoms Network Architecture; Mobile; Virtualization; Cloud Communications; Networks; and Unified Communications (2018 award here).

The 2018 Winners

We announced the results at a launch lunch hosted at a prestigious location in central London. The 2018 awards lunch, at the Royal Society of Medicine on Monday 10 September, was attended by representatives of ten of the 14 top firms. The winners are listed below. Firms with an asterisk after their names were also names as winners in 2019.

  • 451 Research *
  • Analysys Mason *
  • Business Informer Intelligence
  • CXP Group (including PAC/BARC)
  • Enterprise Management Associates
  • Enterprise Strategy Group
  • Everest Group *
  • Forrester Research *
  • Frost & Sullivan *
  • Gartner *
  • Global Data *
  • HfS Research *
  • IDC *
  • IHS Markit *
  • ISG * (runner up)
  • KPMG
  • Ovum *
  • PwC.


At the core of the AVS methodology is asking participants what analyst capabilities they value, to see how high the value is that they put on that capability and then to see how well each of the analyst firms delivers each of those capabilities. The Analyst Firm Awards leverage that unequally-strong data.

Each analyst firm’s impact varies greatly from segment to segment. Vendors need a different portfolio of analyst services from end-users, and end-users of analytics value those services differently from their colleagues in marketing. That also leads us to look at specific analyst services, and we’ve discovered exactly how the value of those services differs from segment to segment. To deliver more value, firms need to reach more people or provide more, and better, services across the full range of services. It’s unsurprising, of course, that Gartner and Forrester lead comprehensively in most segments.

In the 2019 awards, we will exclude accounting companies (Deloitte, PwC etc) and any analyst firms who ask to not be considered.

Free graphics for use by approved AFA winners are available on request. The Awards Customization Service allows customized artwork to be produced by our designer. Contact us for the brochure: The modest fee goes to the designer, not to us.